How can we BE so wrong?! And how can we avoid more slips in future?

Rethink Speech 101: Unlearning uncovers a complex web of beliefs we call c-a-t theory (since it puts c+a+t = cat at its heart, as the simplest and most central truth about speech) or the Everyday Theory of Speech (since it is the basis of ‘common knowledge’ about the nature of speech and how it works). Read the rest now >>>

 

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Two kinds of thinking

This demo is one of the most important in Rethink Speech. To make sure you get the right message from it, there are a few instructions!

The demo has two parts. You should complete Part 1 fully before going on to Part 2.

Please read the instructions for each part carefully. Read the rest now >>>

 

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What does it all mean? The crucial but unnoticed role of pre-thinking

That last demo is so important, we’re actually going to spell out its implications for you! That’s pretty unusual for us at Rethink Speech. Usually we are keen to let you reach your own conclusions – and of course you can do that here too. But these thoughts might give you some interesting ideas to play with. Read the rest now >>>

 

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Could prethinking be like changing handwriting to print?

If speech were a sequence of phonemes (like the letters on this page) then we could assume pre-thinking speech is straightforward: all our brain has to do is (subconsciously) recognise the phonemes, put them together into words, and look up the meanings in our mental dictionary. That’s c-a-t theory at its most basic. Read the rest now >>>

 

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Isn’t prethinking just information processing by the brain?

Nowadays, advanced theories of speech and speech perception have mainly moved on even from the handwriting version of the c-a-t theory.

Many theorists believe that when our subconscious minds look up words in our mental dictionary, they don’t use a representation based on phonemes (individual speech sounds) at all. Exactly what representation is used is a matter for debate, with a range of different suggestions, based on different ways of dividing words into parts. Read the rest now >>>

 

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Behind the c-a-t theory: Its unnoticed foundation

On one level, modern theories of phonetics reject almost everything about the everyday cat theory of speech. For example, they reject the idea that speech is a sequence of phonemes, and they reject the idea that we need a sequence of phonemes in order to look up the meaning of a word in our mental dictionary. Read the rest now >>>

 

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Is there a better way of thinking about prethinking?

sunriseOur society has an enormous amount of ‘common knowledge’ about speech. Much of it is embodied in a collection of ideas that make up an Everyday Theory of Speech (ETS). We can call this the c-a-t theory for fun – though it is important to realise the ETS can be elaborated to cover far more than three-letter words. Read the rest now >>>

 

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